AT the start of this Covid nightmare the most asked question at the press conferences was Why haven’t we locked down, and when we were locked down, Why isn’t it stricter? This was the mainstream media stoking hysteria and fear. We can learn much from the questions the mainstream media ask, or indeed what they don’t ask, about the lockdown.
When we were locked down, journalists loved to ask some stupid question trying to exploit some stupid loophole in the stupid Covid restrictions, not in an attempt to demonstrate how pointless the entire project was, but to force tighter restrictions. Why can you take the dog for a walk? Why can you go to the shop to get milk? Why can you look out your window when the virus might be able to pass through glass and kill us all? Well, I might have made the last one up – but no doubt you remember this ridiculous nonsense that passed for journalism as well as I do.
The low point for me was when some journo was pointing out how close kids get to each other in playgrounds, so why haven’t the playgrounds been shut? Can you imagine pressuring a government to close playgrounds? True to form, a few days later Boris had the playgrounds shut. In fact, my local Covid police removed the swings from the playground in case a six-year-old freedom fighter got an idea and hopped over the locked gate and had a quick swing. You can’t be too careful with the old Covid!
A year and half on, and the usual suspects keep asking Johnson and Sajid Javid, When will they trigger plan B? The mainstream media just cannot wait to push vaccine passports on Britain. Oh, the joy! These same media outlets are getting very giddy indeed about what is occurring on the Continent. Lockdowns for the unvaccinated! Total lockdowns and vaccine passports! And now Austria and Germany are to deliver what the Covid fascists could once only dream of: compulsory vaccination. What’s not to like?
Austria will force its people to be jabbed on pain of a ruinous fine, or failing that being locked up. Sure, it serves them right, does it not? Why, those anti-vaxxers and their high-falutin ideas about human rights, bodily integrity and consent to medical treatment. They deserve everything they get.
And where are our fearless media now? Why, asking the usual questions as to why we can’t have the same here. The questions they should be asking Boris Johnson and Javid are: Do you condemn the human rights abuses in Austria and Germany? Do you condemn the regime of compulsory vaccination in both of these countries?
Instead, true to form, Andrew Marr asked on Sunday, will we have compulsory vaccination here? As if this is something we should even consider in a liberal democracy. Do you see, even asking the question gives the idea legitimacy, and sows it as a possibility in the minds of the public.
The question should have been, Will Johnson condemn the use of water cannon against human rights protesters in the Netherlands?
Does he support the human rights demonstrations across Europe in places such as Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark and Croatia, and the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, right now? These are questions an independent, courageous media would ask. The fact that they don’t speaks volumes.
And where is the condemnation of these appalling Covid measures from our Prime Minister? He is usually so quick in his condemnation when it comes to Trump and the racists.
Boris Johnson condemned the US Capitol ‘rioters’ and Trump’s ‘encouragement’ of them; he condemned racist tweets to English footballers (he ended up being condemned for this condemnation, because he previously had not condemned those who booed the players taking the knee); he condemned Iran over a deadly drone attack on an Israeli-managed ship near Oman and he condemned as ‘disgraceful’ footage of a BBC journalist being abused and chased down the street by anti-lockdown protesters in Westminster.
It’s clear that what our Prime Minister does and does not condemn is big news. It shapes the narrative. A refusal to condemn makes as much news as a condemnation. It tells us what he believes is beyond the pale and what is very much inside the pale.
Thus far vaccine passports, health discrimination, health apartheid and now compulsory vaccination are still inside the pale for this government. They may not introduce such measures here, despite the media pushing for them, but Johnson’s failure to condemn these disgraceful measures being implemented in democratic countries elsewhere is itself a disgrace.
The media have been worse than useless in holding powerful governments to account during this lockdown crisis. They have been collaborators in grossly disproportionate abuses of power. But don’t expect them to ask any tough questions about it; that might attract condemnation.